Mondo at the Bat

by Joe and Julie Dobrow ©1990

Another fun parody poem, written with my sister, Julie — this one a takeoff on “Casey at the Bat,” given to my baseball-loving brother Marty (nicknamed “Mondo” by Julie) on the occasion of his 1990 wedding to Carey Dimmitt.

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mondo’s social life:
He’d failed a couple times before to find himself a wife.
Recall that Friedman died at first, and Bonnie did the same –
A sickly silence fell upon us patrons of The Game.

Some knew that all his social hits were nothing but bad hops;
Some knew him as the kid found in the bathroom by the cops.
They thought, If only Mondo could but find some social grace –
We’d put up even money now, he’d finally pass first base.

But Wesleyan stood in the way, as did a Vermont farm,
And though the former wasn’t bad, the latter caused some harm.
So upon our stricken multitude grim melancholy sat –
For there seemed but little chance of Mondo’s getting to the bat.

Yet he opened up in college, to the wonderment of all,
And love was born up on the farm across a barnyard stall.
And when the dust was washed off and we saw what had occurred –
Carey Dimmitt had hit the pitch to left, and was standing safe on third.

Thus from our socially parched ranks there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled throughout Thomaston, and rattled at Carvel;
It stirred the ghosts of Allenwood, and recoiled Moshe the cat –
For Mondo, mighty Mondo, was advancing to the bat.

There were bows in Mondo’s legs as he stepped unto his place,
There was a receding hairline and a cute look on his face.
And when, responding to our jeers, he always showed up late –
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ‘twas Mondo at the plate.

Five thousand people watched him as he rubbed a weary eye;
Five thousand soles a’chuckled as he donned a clip-on tie.
A Quaker vegetarian, he tried to be so hip –
Defiance gleamed in Mondo’s eye, sweatshirt pullstrings in his lips.

And now the fastball d’amour came hurtling through the air,
And Mondo stood a’watching it, for it caught him unaware.
Close by our green-eyed courtier the ball unheeded sped –
“I’m still unsure,” said Mondo; “Strike one,” the umpire said.

Now from the siblings and the ‘rents there came a muffled roar:
“You fool,” we yelled, “this might well be your only chance to score!”
“Don’t just lean in, swing away,” said someone from the stands –
But Mondo, ever patient, would not heed the reprimands.

From The Meeting School to Hartford High the Mondo’s heart was gone;
This stilled the rising tumult as the endless game wore on.
At third, a hopeful Dimittt danced, awaiting the right cue –
But Mondo still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“Propose!” cried friends and family, “don’t let her get away!”
But deliberate young Mondo simply gave their words no sway.
They saw his face grown stern and cold; they saw his muscles strain –
And they knew that Mondo wouldn’t let his love escape again.

The mustached quivers on his lip, his 30th birthday nears;
He pounds the bat upon the plate and tries to quell his fears.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go –
And now the family is floored by Mondo’s epic blow.

Oh! Somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
After eight long years C. Dimmitt and M. Dobrow will unite.
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout:
For there’s joy in Little Compton – might Mondo stuck it out.